17 A&E Protests to Take Place Outside Hospitals This Saturday
Speaking to the Tánaiste Mícheal Martin on the floor of the Dáil today, Cathaoirleach of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign Peadar Tóibín TD announced that there will be 17 protests outside of hospitals across the country this Saturday at 1pm. An Teachta Tóibín stated:
“In the south of Ireland the protests will take place in Cork University Hospital, Kerry University Hospital, Limerick City, Galway University Hospital, Mayo General Hospital, Sligo University Hospital, Letterkenny University Hospital, Monaghan Hospital, Cavan Hospital, Mullingar Hospital, Drogheda Hospital Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Naas Hospital and Wexford General Hospital. In the north of Ireland protests will take place at Causeway Coast Hospital, Colraine, Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry and Craigavon Hospital. All protests will be at 1pm outside each hospital except for Limerick where protestors will gather at 11am at City Hall, Merchants Quay”.
“I would urge people to turn out in numbers, to bring their family and friends to this event. One thing is for sure, one day you or a close loved one will need an A&E. The question is, will it be there for you. I’d like to thank the Hospital Campaigns around the country for mobilising citizens and I would urge all of the political parties in this Dáil to mobilise their members to join these protests. I know in certain areas that Unions, football clubs, civic society groups are also mobilising. I would encourage this to happen nationally. This is a cross party cross community effort”.
“It is an unprecedented protest response from citizens who are deeply frustrated with the damage that is being done to the Health Service in this country. At some marches there will be thousands in attendance. In others, hundreds will turn out and many others will see dozens of ordinary citizens stand in solidarity with patients and staff who are suffering so much. Every protest will start with a minutes silence for the hundreds of people who are dying each year due to A&E overcrowding”.
“People are angry because the damage to our A&Es has not happened by accident. 120,000 people were left on trollies last year. In many areas the old & the sick were waiting well over 24 hours to be seen by a doctor. Overcrowding is led to 105,000 adverse incidents in 2021. That is 105,000 people who have been damaged by the health system in this country just in one year. Some people suffered damage up to and including disability or death. An Aontú PQ has found out that the government has spent €2 billion in 5 years compensating citizens who have been damaged by the HSE. That’s incredible. Imagine if that money had been spent on the front line in the first place. It would have saved the pain, suffering and damage that has been caused by the lack of staff in the first place”.
“The responsibility for this is not on the staff. The staff are struggling under enormous pressure to do what they can. A report written by Simon Harris when he was Minister for Health showed that there was a direct correlation between death and morbidity in hospitals and the lack of adequate staff. The is also a direct correlation between wating times in A&E and morbidity and mortality. The Reason that A&Es are hammered is that the system in the south is designed for 3.5 million people not the 5.5 million that now live in the state. The reason the A&Es are overcrowded is that they have suffered years of cuts and underfunding especially after the Banking Crash”.
“We have 6,000 fewer hospital beds than in 2008, We have 200 too few ICU beds, We have 30% too few GPs. There are 700 missing consultants in the health system. In 15 years, the government closed 8 A&Es. I still cant fathom how the HSE cannot join the dots between A&E overcrowding and closing 8 A&Es in 15 Years. And right in the middle of this A&E crisis the HSE actively trying to close Navan A&E. You could not make it up”.
“The north of Ireland is being hit by three crisis. The total absence of an Executive when people are suffering so much is incredible. It would be tolerated nowhere else in the world. Indeed we have called consistently for the rules underpinning the Executive to be changed so that no party can prevent democracy again. Secondly SF, the DUP, the SDLP, Alliance and the UUP have signed up to the Bengoa Report which is out of date. The implementation of this report will see the closure of A&E services. Shockingly all these parties also support each Hospital Campaign that are fighting to stop Bengoa closing their services. But the elephant in the room is lack of funding. The £13.5billion available through the Block Grant for the funding of public services is wholly inadequate and will lead to more service closures. There needs to be devolution of fiscal powers from London to Ireland now.
“This Campaign is going nowhere we will not give up until citizens have access to timely and safe healthcare”.